Book Review: First Grave on the Right/Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right
9780312662752, $21.99, St. Martin’s Press

Second Grave on the Left
9780312360818, $21.99, St. Martin’s Press, Pub. Date: August 16, 2011

by Darynda Jones

Stephanie Plum (of Janet Evanovich fame) meets the supernatural – hilarious, kick-ass, and sexy.

Charlotte (Charley) Davidson is the Grim Reaper, though she likes to replace the grim with sarcasm. Basically, she’s the big shining beacon of light that all ghosts who neglect to cross over on their own are guided towards. Usually it’s ghosts who have a reason to stay behind, for instance, because they’ve been murdered. That’s where her day job comes in. Charley’s also a PI (private investigator) and a “consultant” for the police department where her father was a cop and her uncle is still a detective. Between helping Uncle Bob solve crimes, working on her own PI cases, and helping ghosts receive closure before they pass over, Charley’s plate is pretty full. Somehow she still manages to find time to find herself involved with one ridiculously gorgeous, bad-ass dude who may or may not have been shadowing her, and saving her from almost certain death, most of her life. While his corporeal body is in prison for the murder of his father (not that the abusive bastard didn’t deserve it), his incorporeal self is visiting Charley in her dreams and then her waking moments, bringing heat of all kinds with him.

In First Grave on the Right, Charley is helping to solve the murder of three lawyers, also while working on a side project – trying to figure out just who, or what, that deliciously sexy man is who keeps slipping in-and-out of her day- and nighttime dreams. The lawyers were working to free an innocent man convicted of the murder of one teenage boy and the disappearance of his own nephew. Meanwhile, when she finds him, the man of her dreams (literally), happens to be in prison. In a coma. And has three days left before the state pulls his life support. With the help of her assistant, Cookie, several ghosts, and reluctantly working with hunky, skeptic, fellow PI Garrett Swopes, Charley tries to connect the dots between an abandoned warehouse, a human trafficking ring, a priest, the innocent man, the missing boys, and the lawyers. All while racing against the clock to find a way to save Reyes Alexander Farrow, the convicted murdered in a coma, who happens to appear very much awake and alive the several times he appears to either kiss her or save her life.

Read an excerpt here.

In Second Grave on the Left, Reyes Alexander Farrow (Mr. super-gorgeous, possibly evil, lifesaver – literally) has disappeared. Never mind he’s hidden himself in an effort to protect Charley; she’s found him once, and she’ll find him again. Unfortunately Reyes isn’t the only thing on her mind. Her assistant/best friend, Cookie, needs her help to find another missing person. An old high school friend of Cookie has gone missing, and the more they search, the more they find out about a long-buried high school secret among a an old group of friends. Unfortunately, someone out there is killing to make sure that secret stays buried. It’s another race against the clock while Charley and Cookie search for the missing Mimi and the missing Reyes before they both end up dead.

Read an excerpt here.

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